Proving environmental sustainability
The environmental certification project is all about promoting and improving the management and environmental
performance of New Zealand fishing and aquaculture.
While New Zealand already has a good
reputation for the sustainable management
of our natural resources, we need to
build on that by becoming a world leader
in demonstrating the environmental
performance of our fisheries.
The Ministry is seeking an independent
assessment of how well our fisheries
management system addresses
sustainability and other environmental
issues. The assessment will also
provide information that can support
the certification or other independent
assessment of individual fisheries.
Assurance of environmental sustainability,
like assurance of food hygiene and safety,
is becoming simply another part of doing
The government has set up a contestable
certification fund to encourage the
New Zealand fishing and aquaculture
industries to demonstrate and improve on
their environmental performance through
An environmental certification or
assessment undertaken by an independent
organisation, such as the Marine
Stewardship Council, is one way to
demonstrate that a fishery is harvested
in a sustainable way. Environmental
certification also contributes to the clean,
green ‘Brand NZ’ and increases public
confidence that fishing and aquaculture
are managed well.
However, certification can be costly. There
is the certifier or assessor to pay as well as
staff time preparing information to support
the application and sometimes travel.
In recognition of this, the certification fund
has been set up to help those seeking
certification with up to 50 percent of these
costs. The fund is not limited to any one
environmental certification or assessment
scheme or provider – so long as it’s
independent and credible.
The Ministry will also be compiling and
presenting further information on the
environmental sustainability of a range
of New Zealand wild-caught and farmed
seafood. This information will be complete,
transparent and science-based. And it
will be presented in a way that is easily
accessible to the public, seafood buyers
and independent assessors.